Business / Corporate

Panasonic to end mercury lamp production in 2020

JIJI

Panasonic Corp. said Wednesday that it will end production of its mercury lamp products, for use mainly at gymnasiums and factories, at the end of June 2020.

The major electronics maker will make the move before the Minamata Convention on Mercury starts to prohibit the production, export and import of high-pressure mercury lamps for general lighting from 2021.

The company will recommend that users of such products shift to energy-efficient alternatives featuring light-emitting diodes.

Specifically, Panasonic will halt output of 31 types of mercury lamps used in high-ceiling lighting, projectors and street lights with a goal of ending sales of those products around the same time.

The convention was named after the city of Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, where methylmercury-tainted wastewater released from a local plant decades ago caused a neurological disorder that came to be known as Minamata disease.